Songs to help you learn note intervals 19


Songs to help you learn note intervals - music basics

Do you struggle to identify the interval between two notes?

A trick I use is to think of a melodies than contain the interval, and are easy to remember.

Below are a few suggestions for the main major, minor and perfect intervals.

Minor 2nd

Minor 2nd interval

The smallest distance between two notes on the standard Western tuned keyboard/piano is the minor 2nd, known also as a semitone.

Short symbol: m2. May also be referred to as a half tone, half step, or augmented unison.

Ascending

Examples

  • The two prominent notes in the theme to the movie Jaws.

Descending

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Major 2nd

Short symbol: M2. May also be referred to as a tone, whole topne, whole step or diminished third.

Major 2nd interval

Ascending

Examples

  • Doe A Deer (Sound of Music): First two notes of the chorus
  • EastEnders (UK Soap Opera): Any two consecutive notes from the first three
  • Frere Jacques: First two notes or second and third notes
  • Happy Birthday: Second and third notes

Descending

Examples

  • Blow the Wind Southerly: First two notes
  • Deck the Halls: First two notes (learn to play Deck the Halls)
  • Mary Had A Little Lamb: First two notes
  • The First Noel: First two notes
  • Three Blind Mice: First two notes or second and third notes
  • Whistle While You Work: First two notes
  • Yesterday (The Beatles): First two notes

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Minor 3rd

Short symbol: m3. May also be referred to as an augmented second.

Minor 3rd interval

Ascending

Examples

  • “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran: First two notes of main intro/riff
  • “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5: First two notes of main intro/riff
  • “A Time for Us” Romeo & Juliet (main theme): First two notes
  • Beverley Hills Cop: First two notes
  • Greensleeves: First two notes
  • Lullaby (Brahms): Second and third notes
  • The Impossible Dream: “To Dream” notes

Descending

Examples

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Major 3rd

Short symbol: M3. May also be referred to as a diminshed fourth.

Major 3rd interval

Ascending

Descending

Examples

  • Beethoven’s Fifth: Third and fourth notes of main melody
  • Summertime: First two notes
  • Swing Low Sweet Chariot: First two notes

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Perfect 4th

Short symbol: P4. May also be referred to as an augmented third.

Perfect 4th interval

Ascending

Examples

Descending

Examples

  • “Happy” by Pharrell: Interval to first drop note in the verse
  • “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol: First two verse notes
  • Born Free: First two notes
  • Come on Eileen: (Dexy’s Midnight Runners) First two notes of chorus (“Come On”)
  • O Come All Ye Faithful: Second and third notes (learn to play O Come All Ye Faithful)

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Tritone

May also be referred to as a diminished fifth or an augmented fourth.

Tritone interval

Ascending

Descending

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Perfect 5th

Short symbol: P5. May also be referred to as a diminished sixth.

Perfect 5th interval

Ascending

Examples

  • 2001 A Space Odyssey (Theme): First two notes of main melody
  • Lavender’s Blue: First two notes
  • O Lord and Father of Mankind (Hymn): First two notes
  • Star Wars: First two notes
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: Second and third notes (Get the music for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Descending

Examples

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Minor 6th

Short symbol: m6. May also be referred to as an augmented fifth.

Minor 6th interval

Ascending

Examples

  • The Entertainer: Third and fourth notes
  • Theme from ‘Love Story’: Third and fourth notes (first two notes are the same interval with high note first)

Descending

Examples

  • “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen: First two notes of chorus
  • Theme from ‘Love Story’: First two notes

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Major 6th

Short symbol: M6. May also be referred to as a diminished seventh.

Major 6th interval

Ascending

Examples

  • Angels (Robbie Williams): First two notes of verse
  • It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (Carol): First two notes (
  • Jingle Bells: First two notes of line “Dashing Through the Snow” (learn to play Jingle Bells)
  • My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean: First two notes

Descending

Examples

  • Music of the Night (from Phantom of the Opera) – first two notes of verse

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Minor 7th

Short symbol: m7. May also be referred to as an augmented sixth.

Minor 7th interval

Ascending

Descending

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Major 7th

Short symbol: M7. May also be referred to as a diminished octave.

Major 7th interval

Ascending

Examples

  • On the Street Where You Live: the notes for ‘Once’ and ‘Am’ in ‘All at once am I, several storeys high’
  • There’s a Place For Us (West Side Story): First two notes

Descending

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

Download MP3
Download MIDI

Octave

Short symbol: P8. May also be referred to as a perfect octave or augmented seventh.

Octave interval

Ascending

Examples

Descending

Examples

  • There’s No Business Like Show Business: Second and third notes

Listen to the intervals played both ascending and descending, plus together as a chord, across several octaves.

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Hat tips to ThinkQuest, “Songwriting and the Creative Process”, VCU and commenters below for additional song ideas.


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